Paul Martin, director general of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) writing to Greg Dyke, director of the BBC

I am writing to complain in the strongest possible terms about recent BBC press coverage regarding deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia. On Tuesday 21 May there was a report on this topic on the Today programme and the six o’clock news and on Wednesday 22 May there was a report on Breakfast Television.

None of these programmes contained any comment from the UK importing trade or from the supplier countries mentioned. On BBC Breakfast the chief executive of the Born Free Foundation asserted that all non-FSC certified timber was from unsustainable sources and then the programme presenter Jeremy Bowen boldly endorsed this assertion.

The facts are that there are approximately forty different certification systems being developed across the world and that at the moment only 2% of the world’s timber is certified and that is mainly in the temperate northern hemisphere.

It seems to me outrageous that the BBC is happy to make programmes about the timber industry including false and inaccurate information from NGOs but doesn’t see fit to allow representatives of the trade in question to comment.

In the past the Timber Trade Federation has attempted to talk to journalists on the Today programme and has been told that they do not speak to outside organisations. It seems that privileged access is confined to NGOs.

If you are going to uphold the BBC’s reputation as an impartial public service broadcaster it is vital that your news output stops having this clear bias and allows legitimate comment to be made either by the trade or the supplier countries being reported on. It is totally unacceptable that your news programmes cavalierly damage legitimate business activity in this way.

I look forward to hearing reassurances from you regarding future broadcasting.